That said the level of questions is fairly small, and the level is relatively stable
This post tries to understand the current state of JSF, and whether there is still a place for JSF in modern development.
What is JSF?
JSF is a component-based web framework that is part of Java EE. It was the only frontend framework under Java EE until Java EE 8 added its new MVC framework.
Whats good about JSF?
For me the key strength of JSF lies in the component frameworks in the JSF ecosystem. In particular PrimeFaces, or the utility libraries like omnifaces. They let you quickly get started on projects, have plenty examples and are especially suited in a team or for projects where developers lack frontend skills. The deployment model is often simple, with a single war or ear file per server
The current release of JSF is 2.3, with the specification for 2.4 currently in progress.
Whats bad about JSF?
In 2014 JSF received criticism from the thoughtworks techradar, which placed it on hold.
The main part of the criticism was that the JSF model is flawed as it –
“encourages use of its own abstractions rather than fully embracing the underlying web model”
They do make the concession that the web model is getting more prominence in later versions of JSF.
There were rebuttals against this post particularly relating to more recent JSF versions. But it has contributed to JSF being regarded as a difficult framework to use.
JSF is Marmite
JSF is the marmite of frontend development.
Whats marmite? Its a yeast extract that you spread on toast. Some people love it, some hate it, but there is no middle ground. For the record I hate marmite, but I like JSF.
The reason I like JSF is that you can access good quality components, that are mature and well documented. It also has the advantage of allowing teams that are weak on front end skills to develop professional looking websites. There is a downside that it can be hard to deliver more complex requirements as the Request/Response model is more abstract under JSF.
Should you use JSF for new projects?
JSF has the advantage of being a mature model in this respect. Its also worth remembering that if your team is lacking in front end skills then JSF will help you quickly deliver a professional looking website.
I’d be interested in hearing other peoples experiences, and whether they will be using JSF on future projects